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Baylor shuts down McDermott and Creighton, 85-55

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 23, 2014 at 10:43 pm •  Published: March 23, 2014
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Baylor came out blazing from long range, knocking down five 3-pointers in the first 7 minutes. Kenny Chery made three and when Heslip, who was 0 for 6 in Friday's win over Nebraska, swished his first against Creighton, he mockingly shook the fingers on both hands as he loped back down the court.

"We were just expecting it to be a fight, to be honest," Heslip said.

McDermott, meanwhile, struggled to find any kind of space inside or out against Baylor's zone defense and badly misfired on his first attempt, a baseline shot that missed everything.

This rout was just beginning.

The Bears flexed their muscle early and often with a lineup built for the rigors of the Big 12. Austin is 7-foot-1 and he teamed with 6-10 forward Cory Jefferson in the frontcourt. When Creighton missed a shot, the typical result was three Bears under the basket with no Bluejays around.

Baylor's bench was just as intimidating. When reserve forward Rico Gathers pushed his 6-foot-8, 270-pound frame through the lane for a layup, two Creighton defenders were powerless to stop him.

By the time Baylor had built a 20-point halftime lead, McDermott had taken only three shots, made one and had two fouls.

"We knew we had them on their heels," Austin said. "We wanted to step on their throat."

Even when Creighton got a spark — Ethan Wragge made two 3-pointers early in the second half — Baylor simply matched basket for basket, denying any hopes of a rally.

Soon it was showtime as Baylor's lead kept growing. Jefferson slammed down an alley-oop dunk for a 58-34 lead with just more than 12 minutes to play. Gathers added another rim-rattler a few minutes later, his broad shoulders soaring to the basket to punctuate the night.

When McDermott left the game with 2:31 to play, he hugged his father, Creighton coach Greg McDermott, before retreating to the bench and burying his face in a towel.

"I'm not sure it was Baylor being that good or us being that bad," Greg McDermott said. "Over the course of the season you're going to have a few clunkers. We had one at the wrong time."